Beth

Kindness Matters – A Lenten Challenge

The season of Lent has arrived. I’ve never been super great at the “giving something up” thing. I have done shopping bans, I’ve tried to not swear, I tried to stop picking my fingers one year (it’s a very gross habit, we’ll talk about that another time), I gave up pop one year when I actually still used to drink it. But while these things were all sacrifices and good challenges, I never found myself feeling enlightened and fulfilled. Last year I did a 40 days of gratitude challenge, finding something in each day to be grateful for. I really enjoyed that and this year came up with something even better.

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40 Days of Kindness. Each day of Lent I will do some sort of kindness gesture. I was going to make a calendar and assign something to each day, but then my two week headcold got in my way and didn’t allow my brain to do quite that much work. So instead my plan is to wake up each day and try to find something kind to do for someone and then write it down at the end of each day. It might be something as simple as holding the door for someone, smiling at someone who looks like they need it, giving grace to the person at work I’m less than fond of or reading an extra story to my son at bed time. Or it might be something bigger like the drive-thru difference at the coffee shop, sending a note to a friend I haven’t talked to in awhile, sending someone flowers to brighten their day or maybe even going and serving food at a shelter or bringing food to a food shelf.

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There are a couple of reasons I decided on doing a kindness challenge for Lent. The biggest one is kind of obvious – due to the mess of things in our country right now, there is SO MUCH NEGATIVITY in the air, it makes me want to scream. And you bet I’m still very anti-you know who and I’m not happy about the way things are going, but one way I can fight back and resist is by showing kindness. The second reason is to set an example for Ollie. I want to teach him how to show kindness to others. I hope to involve him in this challenge. He is very much in the threenager “Me, Me, ME” stage right now, so I’m hoping this will help him see beyond his little world just a little bit.

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Kindness Matters. It begins at home. It begins with me. I’ll check in as I go and I encourage all of you to try to do a kind act here or there as well, whether you’re religious or not. We could all benefit from a little more kindness.

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6 thoughts on “Kindness Matters – A Lenten Challenge”

  1. I LOVE this Beth. I think this is even better than giving something up. Although some people do, that practice isn’t really big in my church, so I just haven’t done it in the past. However, I really like the idea of adding something to your life, like more scripture reading, etc. And to intentionally practice kindness every day in Lent is such a great idea!!
    Shea recently posted…Goals for MarchMy Profile

  2. I love this so much. I do the grateful thing often, and I tell my clients to do it too because it legit makes your brain happier (neurons-what wires together fires together, so super easy way to make your brain happier). This is like an advanced level. And your right – there is so much negatively right now, this is a great way to combat it. I need to do this too. For me, not for let, but because it’s brilliant. I might add an additional challenge of remembering to be kind to myself, since that is where I struggle a lot.

    I’m glad you posted this. I’m grateful your doing this.

    Thanks,
    JL

    “I do it for the joy it brings, ’cause I’m a joyful girl. Because the world owes me nothing. And we owe each other the world”.

  3. Yesss, yess, to this!
    I am doing 40 acts this Lent. http://stewardship-news.org/P3Z-4SX2Y-OZ12SI-2IREWO-1/c.aspx They send you an email each day with a challenge for something you can do each day to be loving and Christlke, yours is the same idea.
    Here was today’s email:
    “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
    Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

    The average person in Great Britain eats 16.3 lb of chocolate a year. This is about the same weight as 169 chocolate bars, so it’s pretty safe to say that collectively we’re a nation of chocolate lovers. Chocolate is everywhere, yet in my experience, when used generously, it still has the ability to get a great reaction, sometimes even turning into incredible conversations.

    This time last year I found myself walking around Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, handing out chocolate bars to the staff and crew of the musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. One attempt was met with the reply ‘No, I know you don’t get anything for free.’ There is such a lack of generosity in our society that many have forgotten what it looks like, thinking the worst of others rather than thinking intentions could be genuinely selfless.

    With 40acts we’re challenged to do something each day, which is technically pretty easy but practically something which takes us out of our comfort zone and isn’t the norm.

    It’s for this reason that it’s so important to live out a lifestyle of generosity – yes surprising others but blessing them in a culture where this isn’t something frequently played out.

    In Joshua 1:9, we’re reminded that we’ve been called to play out this kind of lifestyle and that we shouldn’t let fear discourage us. Handing out a chocolate bar to a passer-by could have implications beyond anything we could think, or might simply result in a smile.

    What if today we were radically generous with our nation’s favourite treat?

    So embrace your inner Willy Wonka and remember that, no matter if you choose green, amber or red, God will be with you in each act of generosity you attempt.

    Today’s blog was written by Luke Hamilton from Alpha. Find out more about him here.
    READ MORE & ADD YOUR IDEAS
    Choose how to complete this act…

    GREEN OPTION:
    Sling a bar of chocolate into someone’s bag with a note saying ‘#40acts’. Or leave a bar or two in your local library, on a park bench, or on the train.

    YELLOW OPTION:
    Hit everyone in your department/road/toddler group with a chocolate bar – or wherever you happen to be going today.

    RED OPTION:
    Clear the Easter egg aisle in your local supermarket and get out onto the streets, handing them out early. Or, you could do what some challengers did a few years ago: stand up and announce ‘free chocolate’ on your commute home.
    Kezzie recently posted…Keep calm and carry onMy Profile

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